The 1997–98 NBA season was the 52nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their third straight championship and sixth in the last eight years, beating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the 1998 NBA Finals. This would also be in many people's eyes the end of a golden era of basketball with the departure of Michael Jordan and the end of the dynasty for the Chicago Bulls before Michael Jordan returned in 2001 for the Washington Wizards. This is the last time that both NBA and NHL regular seasons ended on the same day.
The Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls shared the league's best record at 62–20, and met each other in the NBA Finals. The Jazz had home-court advantage by virtue of the head-to-head match-up (the Jazz won the season series 2–0).
Two new records were set in Game 3 of the NBA Finals: biggest margin of victory (42 points) and fewest points scored in an NBA Finals game (54) in the Bulls’ rout of the Jazz.
Following head coach Phil Jackson's decision to not return to the Bulls, Michael Jordan announced his second retirement from the NBA during the following offseason. This was Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. Scottie Pippen was traded for Roy Rogers (who was released in February 1999) and a conditional second-round draft pick from the Houston Rockets. Dennis Rodman was not re-signed either, leading to the end of an era for the Bulls and the NBA.
All the Western Conference teams who missed the playoffs had 55 or more losses. Four of them lost more than 62 games. The ninth-placed Sacramento Kings finished the season with a 27–55 record, losing nineteen of their last twenty games. The Kings finished fourteen games behind the #8 seeded Houston Rockets at 41–41, whilst the tenth-placed Dallas Mavericks ended with a 20–62 record. All the Eastern Conference teams who missed the playoffs had thirty or more wins except for the Toronto Raptors, who finished with a 16–66 record.
Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner became the first two female officials in NBA history (as well as any of the four major professional sports leagues). Kantner would be fired following the 2001-02 season, while Palmer would go on to have long 19-year career before retiring after the 2015-16 season.
The Washington Bullets changed their name to the Washington Wizards. New logo & new uniforms. They scrap the Red, White & Blue colors to Teal, old gold and black. Also in December that season they moved into their new home arena called the MCI Center
Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.